This is an archive of the Treatment Action Campaign's public documents from December 1998 until October 2008. I created this website because the TAC's website appears unmaintained and people were concerned that it
was becoming increasingly hard to find important documents.

The menu items have been slightly edited and a new stylesheet applied to the site. But none of the documents have been edited, not even for minor errors. The text appears on this site as obtained from the Internet Archive.

The period covered by the archive encompassed the campaign for HIV medicines, the civil disobedience campaigns, the Competition Commission complaints, the 2008 xenophobic violence and the PMTCT, Khayelitsha health workers and Matthias Rath court cases.

What the Court and TAC expects in the HIV/AIDS plan for Westville Correctional Centre

7 September 2006

Released 22:30 (GMT+2)

On Friday 8th September 2006 - the South African government in particular the Minister of Health and the Minister of Correctional Services and their employees have to submit a treatment plan for inmates with HIV/AIDS at Westville Correctional Centre to the Durban High Court. Government has already been held in contempt of court. Now, it has the opportunity to demonstrate what Cabinet today promised would never again be breached - that is, respect for the Constitution and the rule of law.

The Constitution and law requires that the HIV/AIDS plan for Westville Correction Centre must be reasonable. A reasonable plan has at least four elements according to the Constitutional Court.

  1. The HIV/AIDS plan for Westville and any health district in our country must be reasonable in conception. This means the plan must eliminate all barriers to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care. It must have clear budgets, resource needs allocation including training, support and evaluation.

  2. The plan must also be implemented reasonably - a beautiful policy on paper and not properly implemented will be unconstitutional.

  3. Reasonable coverage by the plan means reaching all those who need treatment but special consideration must be given to vulnerable and marginalised groups.

  4. A plan must be communicated to everyone in a reasonable manner.

The elements of a reasonable plan were identified by the Constitutional Court in the Grootboom and TAC cases.


South Africa's prisons are in crisis. Overcrowding, malnutrition, lack of adequate health-care services and a general absence of recreational, educational and work programmes all require urgent attention.

The number of prisoners who have died in custody from natural causes has risen dramatically from 211 in 1996 to over 1500 in 2005. The death rate in prison has increased from 1.65 deaths per 1000 in 1996 to 9.2 per 1000 in 2005. This increase in the prison mortality rate is directly attributable to HIV/AIDS and its intersection with tuberculosis (TB).

  1. Fundamental Right to HIV Treatment of Inmates:

  2. Environment:

  3. Prevention access:

  4. Access to HIV Testing is necessary to access treatment:

  5. Prevention and Treatment Literacy:

  6. Nutrition

  7. Exercise:

  8. ARVs

  9. TB

  10. Release Protocol

  11. Special Needs

    12) Policy

    Several areas of policy need urgent resolutions if any of the above areas are to be properly addressed.

These requirements are based both on government standards and on what has been submitted to the Court by the Treatment Action Campaign and the AIDS Law Project.

TAC extends its support to the Department of Correctional Services to implement this plan and to make Westville Corrections Centre a model HIV prevention and treatment centre.

The NEC and members of TAC commend the inmates of Westville for their struggle and we especially thank the AIDS Law Project - our attorneys of record. TAC also thanks Ms Sue Pillay - the correspondent attorney for the ALP, Advocate Andrea Gabriels and Advocate Wim Trengove SC. Thanks to TAC KZN for great work on this case.

We hope that government will avoid unnecessary litigation in future.